As the debate heats up about whether or not members of Congress and their families should be able to trade stock, Virginia Democrat Rep. Elaine Luria had a colorful description of a proposed bill that would ban the practice.
In an interview with Punchbowl News, Luria declared that the proposed ban was “Bulls**t!” Following the classy characterization of the bill, Luria continued to explain her opposition to the bill, which is quite interesting.
REPORT: Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria Doesn’t Like Proposed Congressional Stock Trading Ban, Calls It ‘Bullsh*t’ https://t.co/MitpPioX5f
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 10, 2022
Here’s Why Rep. Luria Is Opposed To The Bill
Rep. Luria continued as to why she was opposed to the new bill.
“Why would you assume – I mean, the people that you’re electing to represent you, it makes no sense that you’re going to automatically assume that they’re going to use their position for some nefarious means or to benefit themselves. So I’m very strongly opposed to any legislation like that.”
Quite the interesting argument. After all, why would you vote for someone you suspect may be unethical or use their position to their own benefit?
On the other hand, trading stock has proven to be a lucrative side gig for members of Congress just getting by on their $174,000 a year. Currently, Rep. Luria herself owns between $1 million-$5 million worth of Facebook shares and NVIDIA stock, and $500,000-$1 million worth of Netflix shares.
Pelosi now says Congress shouldn’t be allowed to trade stocks; this after she’s made millions trading stocks… (illegally)
— Chicago1Ray 🇺🇸 (@Chicago1Ray) February 10, 2022
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Already A Law On The Books
While probably not many Americans know it, but there is already a law on the books regarding sitting members of Congress and playing the stock market. The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK, passed in 2012, and was designed to create more transparency about lawmakers’ dealings in the stock market.
It was also – ostensibly – designed to curb insider trading. Of course, the devil’s in the details.
The fine for violating the STOCK act is a minimal one, a $200 slap on the wrist. Excuses for violations of the law include not knowing the law existed and accountant errors.
Recently, Business Insider reported that in 2021, as many as 55 members of Congress were identified as failing to properly report financial trades as is required by the STOCK act.
Congress moves towards banning members from trading stocks https://t.co/BFytpV1TSn
The gains are too huge… it’ll end up toothless or unenforced.
— VeryStableGeniusTrump2️⃣⏺2️⃣4⃣🍊 (@RealTrump2020_) February 9, 2022
Americans On Board With Congressional Stock Ban
Americans have been on board with prohibiting members of Congress from trading stock for a while. A survey done by a group called Convention of States Action showed that 76% of voters think that Congress members and their spouses have an “unfair advantage” when it comes to the stock market. Just five percent of those participating in the survey approved of Congress members trading stocks, 19% had no opinion.
The latest bill, the TRUST Act was introduced into Congress in January by Elaine Luria’s fellow Virginia Democrat lawmaker, Rep. Abigail Spanberger. The bill would require members of Congress, their spouses, and dependent children to put all investments into a blind trust until 6 months after they have left Congress.
Blumenthal Bought Robinhood Shares as He Called for Congress To Investigate GameStop Trading Frenzy https://t.co/HjmY0qTNqA House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), one of the most prolific stock traders in Congress, endorsed a proposal on Wed to ban members from trading stocks.
— Kimberly Towne (@KimmieT218) February 10, 2022